By Joe Zamboni
I’m taking a class that meets every six weeks for three-day weekends. The dates have been arranged many months in advance. One of the students is a single mother, with three young children, who is an entitled princess. She sent out an email to all the other students, saying that she wants to change the class dates to another weekend, and that she’s checking to see whether we the other students were OK with that. She proposed another weekend date, and that generated an extensive volley of emails. A few people had conflicts. She then proposed another weekend date, and again we had another prolonged round of emails. This time it could work for everyone in the class except one other woman. That other woman would have to miss one of the three days in a three-day weekend.
What got me going is the way this mother just plowed ahead, as though we of course were all going to change our schedules for her. She didn’t even bother to check with this other woman to see whether it was OK with that other woman. She just assumed that it was going to be OK with that other woman. After all, the other woman was only giving up one of three days, so that she, the mother, could avoid missing the whole weekend. I objected to her assumption that, of course, all of us other students were going to knock ourselves out in order to accommodate this mother. I got into a sparring match with her when I suggested that she deal with her own scheduling problem, and that she had no right to impose a cost or inconvenience on anyone.
I wrote in one of the email exchanges that this situation was like someone having poison they didn’t know how to get rid of. They must not simply pour it in a river, and then forget about the fact that people down river are going to drink that poisoned water. Like many American mothers, this mother seems unable to realistically consider the cost and impact of the demands that she is making on others.
Apparently I hit on a nerve, and then another student, who was also a mother, came to the aid of the one who was asking us all to change our schedules. This other mother took exception to the pollution analogy, although she could not come up with a better one. Although she won’t cop to it in front of the class-members, I’m pretty sure that her upset is in part a function of the fact that she has a disabled child. For years she has believed that everyone should be dropping whatever they are doing to come help her care for the disabled child. She even divorced husband number two (not the father of the disabled child) because he didn’t provide enough help caring for the disabled child. He says he married her, but did not agree to be caretaker to the disabled child.
With both of these mothers there is an assumption that everybody should come and help out, whenever the mothers ask for it. It is as though the mothers of the world sit next to God, and whatever they wish should be our command. It turns out that the first mother, the one who wanted us all to change our schedules, undertook this schedule change as a matter of preference. Through further discussions it later came out that she wanted to go to a school event with her child, a festival that lasted all weekend. In other words the requested schedule change was a preference; it was not a need. I would seriously consider mobilizing and helping out if her kid were in some sort of serious danger, or if there was some genuine and pressing need here. But this is just a social matter. And she thinks nothing of the fact that she inconveniences everybody, so that she can have her way.
Which brings us to the topic of the Golden Uterus Syndrome, a label first coined by Dr. Tara J. Palmatier. As Palmatier defines it, Golden Uterus Syndrome (GUS) occurs when a woman thinks she deserves special privileges just because she has given birth to a child. These women have an over-inflated sense of themselves, believing that everyone else owes them something just because they are mothers. For example, women with this syndrome, which is all too common in America these days, use the term “for the benefit of the child” as though it is reason to get their own way. Supposedly all sorts of things (like a mother not taking a job, and instead staying at home) are for the benefit of the child, when in reality they are simply a cover for the woman manipulating others to get her way.
As my interactions with my classmates revealed, it is apparently taboo to confront a mother on her selfish behavior. The fact is that other people, be they men or women, owe nothing to mothers. As the recent Italian ocean liner accident (Costa Concordia) dramatically revealed, chivalry is dead. I won’t give my seat on the bus to a mother who’s standing, and I certainly won’t give my sinking-ship lifeboat seat to a mother. The social contract between men and women is dead, and feminist women are the ones who killed it. Mothers in general don’t do anything for me (although I appreciate my own, God rest her soul). So many of these mothers just take, take, take — like parasites. For example, women all over world are blatantly getting pregnant so that they don’t have to work at a job, so that they can be supported by a man. I’m not going to act like I approve of their behavior to ensnare and enslave a man, so that this man is then forced to pay eighteen years of child support at the very least.
American mothers have milked their close association with the young for all it’s worth. Things have gone way overboard. Mothers now enjoy many unwarranted preferences, and it’s time to reestablish a new and more equitable balance. I agree that the young do need special protection, training, and other assistance, but the same cannot honestly be said for women who have had children. I have personally witnessed the bizarre claims to special treatment coming from mothers who don’t work, who have a wealthy husband, a maid, a nanny, and other servants. Their claims of being so incredibly burdened by their children are about as hollow and self-serving as they come. While this type of toxic mother is an extreme case, I seriously question whether I should give any type of mother with children any more special consideration, aid, support, or exemptions from the duties of life, than I give to any other person with children. Why should I treat a baby-sitter with a child any differently? Why should I treat a teacher with a child any differently? Why should I treat a father with a child any differently? The Fourteenth Amendment talks about equal protection for all people, and that is my approach to relationships with mothers (actually I employ that approach with gusto in those instances where a mother has GUS).
Once upon a time, there may have been good reason to protect mothers, to support mothers, etc. (I don’t know, I wasn’t there). But that is one hundred or more years ago. Today’s American women claim to be the equals of men, if not better than men. At least in this instance, I am pleased to give them what they say they want (equal treatment). The fact is that modern mothers have a choice to have a child or not. When they have a child, it is their own personal burden that they are taking on — it is their decision to have that baby. I had no part in their past baby making decisions (unfortunately even if I was the contributor of DNA material), and I do not now agree to allow them to off-load the baby-related responsibilities and costs onto me.
Women these days have decided that they prefer the support of the government (which really is for the most part ultimately support coming from working men who pay taxes, child support, alimony, etc.) rather than the direct support of a father and/or husband. Women now initiate 70%+ of American divorces. So when I meet a single woman with a child, I know that she’s the one who probably opted to break up the family. Or perhaps she never even considered marrying the guy — she just wanted the 18-year gravy train that comes with having a child. Since when am I supposed to step-in and be her surrogate protector and provider? As a third party, I do not need to, in fact I refuse to, step-in and help out just because she rejected her traditional source of support with the child-raising experience (husbands and fathers).
In general, the GUS problem involves mothers attempting to transfer their problems onto other people, so that they don’t have to deal with them. This is fundamentally a question of self-responsibility, and women in general seem loath to take on true self-responsibility. A friend of mine calls it “congenital female selfishness,” but I think it is more like an acculturated selfishness, and a “pussy pass” so that they can get out of trouble, so that they don’t need to grow-up. As long as we men keep playing the mangina and white knight roles, as long as we keep giving all sorts of special treatment to mothers, going out of our way to protect mothers, doing all sorts of special favors for mothers, we feed and perpetuate the GUS fantasy.
The fact is: the world doesn’t need more children. There are plenty of humans on the face of the earth, and those humans that we have now are doing an effective job of screwing up the environment and using up the remaining non-renewable resources. Women don’t need to have children. They want children. Having children is a preference, and men are supposed to endlessly indulge women in the fulfillment of this wish. It’s time that the women-having-babies conversation was brought into the realm of public conversation, and then dealt with rationally and responsibly.
It’s time that men got a backbone and refused to endlessly indulge women in their desire for, and rearing of children. In large measure, it is the continued willingness of men to indulge this selfish female desire that has led to our overpopulation problem. It’s time for all men to say “no” to women that selfishly keep having babies. It’s time for third party men to say “no” to providing support and protection to mothers who have quite clearly rejected any sort of partnership with a man. It’s time for all men to say “no” to the exploitative demands of these GUS-infected self-serving mothers.